By Kiel Christianson,
The P3 putting aid is funny-looking, and a bit pricey. But, if you're a golfer suffering from a "wristy" stroke, it might just help you break the wrist-breaking habit on the golf course.
I recently attended the Illinois State Class AA Girl's Golf Sectional Tournament at the University of Illinois Orange Course. I was cheering on the Marion Wildcats team, of which my niece is a member. (The Wildcats won convincingly, and ended up taking second in state, by the way.)
As I stood observing the girls on the putting green, I noticed two players from one of the other teams practicing long lag putts. My 9-year-old daughter was standing next to me, and I just had to point out to her how the two players' wrists were breaking down during their strokes, flipping the clubhead toward the hole, and sending their long putts rather wildly off-line.
I also mentioned to my daughter that I had just received a putting aid called the Perfect Putting Pendulum, or P3 for short, which was designed specifically to counteract the tendency some golfers have toward breaking their wrists on putts.
My daughter had seen me fiddling with the somewhat odd-looking P3, but had been utterly confused by it until now.
When we got home, I demonstrated it to her more carefully.
Neil Higgins, inventor of the P3, had been having an awful putting round when he stumbled upon the observation that when he kept his hands apart and made a putting stroke, the result was a perfectly pendulous motion, without any wristiness.
Higgins went home and began to work on the design that would eventually become the P3: a wide plastic plate with three sets of adjustable, powerfully magnetic brackets. In the center of the plate is a small vise-like clamp into which you screw your own putter. In the magnetic brackets, you affix two oppositely-charged magnetic grips.
The magnetic grips fit into three different sets of brackets, from widest at the far ends of the device, to the narrowest, right next to your putter (at the center of the device).
The idea is that you begin wide, where it is nearly physically impossible to break your wrists. As you move toward the center, you get more and more used to keeping those wrists set, and when you finally remove your putter from the device, your wrist-breaking habit is broken.
If a wristy putting stroke is causing you to miss putts, the P3 can indeed help. It's simple yet ingenious, and well-engineered over all. The long, flat plastic plate is also useful for working on alignment and swing-path.
A rather considerable drawback to the device, however, is the price, $90, which seems about $50 too high. Another is the rather bizarre look of the thing. My daughter told me in no uncertain terms that she wouldn't consider trying it in public. So it might not have helped those high-school players, either. To paraphrase the Bard: Vanity, thy name is golfer.
For more information, visit www.p3putter.com.
November 14, 2007
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.